This weekend in Denver is apparently supposed to be b-e-a-utiful. Weather reports are calling for temperatures in the 60s and 70s, and it’s going to be a great weekend to spend outside in the park. The only problem with this is that I’ll be in Philadelphia during this amazing weather spot. It will not be in the 60s and 70s in Philly. It will be in the 40s. That’s further than I’d like to be from those glorious spring temperatures.
Wait. Further? Or is it farther?
When I was in high school, a drama teacher that I had my sophomore year made everyone in my class keep a journal. He kept them in his office, but never read them, and we would write every morning we had class. Some of us took the exercise more seriously than others (there was a minimum three line requirement), but after that year, he gave us the notebooks to keep. I had enjoyed journaling so much that I continued.
It was a great way for me to get my thoughts recorded, although it wasn’t the prettiest writing I’ve ever done. If you’re looking for an alternative way to tell a story, there are a couple reasons to try a diary or epistolary format.
A few weeks ago, our group of friends was planning a potluck. One of the girls said she was planning on making vegetarian chili, cornbread, or baking cookies. I cringed internally because the flow of the sentence was wrong and hurt me on the inside. The issue: mismatched parallelism.
If the semicolon was just a little less top-heavy, then it would be a comma, and rightfully used and appreciated. Sadly, many writers have a confused relationship with the semicolon, not really sure how or when to use semicolons in their lovely sentences.
Don’t worry, little semicolon. Your virtues will not be lost on this audience as long as I have a say in it.
People ask me all the time (and by all the time, I mean never), “Liz, what is your favorite grammatical/punctuational structure?” It’s hard to narrow it down to just one (although you’re probably already aware of my love for the Oxford comma), but if I happened to be in a life-or-death of language situation, it would probably be the parenthetical statement.
I bet you already figured that out.